Special Reports

A helping hand in the ongoing skills and training challenge

Skills shortages and the need to pursue training as a key to meeting the future are well-known challenges for the repair industry.

Skills shortages and the need to pursue training as a key to meeting the future are well-known challenges for the repair industry. Perhaps less well known is the help available to help workshops get there.

Suncorp stands out not only for recognising these issues but also for actively offering support as they’ve rolled out a suite of programs tailored to support the repair industry, ensuring that collision repairers have the necessary tools and knowledge to thrive now and in the future.

In a 2023 State of the nation survey, 83 per cent of paint and panel businesses across Australia responded they had or would employ an apprentice.  But keeping apprentices motivated and supported can be a challenge and that’s where Suncorp’s Apprenticeship Program offers support. 

One of the more practical forms of assistance is to offer a financial helping hand. The program is designed to support and showcase the growth and development of the vital apprentice sector and offers a financial boost up to a $1,500 payment to eligible apprentices. The funds can be used to help purchase tools and study equipment needed, making it easier to kick start an apprenticeship.

As an apprentice’s journey continues, recognition forms a crucial way to acknowledge their hard work and to sustain their motivation. So, Suncorp will soon offer awards where apprentices in the program will be eligible for nomination into a monthly recognition awards program.

The initiative is part of Suncorp’s broader strategy to nurture the growth and development of apprentices, recognising their hard work and supporting pathways to career opportunities within the company post-apprenticeship.

World of skills

More and more workshops are looking further afield to help them solve the skills shortage and Suncorp’s International Labour Funding Program is aimed at helping them navigate the sometimes complex and costly migration system.  It offers financial support to help eligible repair shops facilitate the recruitment and training of international employees. The International Labour Funding Program makes available a financial boost of a $3,000 payment per eligible employee that helps offset recruitment and training costs.

By supporting this process, Suncorp not only fills a vacancy, by adding to skills pool, but also contributes to the industry’s growth and diversity. This brings in fresh perspectives and skills from around the globe to ensure sustainability of the wider motor repair industry.

Support to develop 

Suncorp’s support programs also go further than just filling vacancies and seek to develop existing employees with its Training and Capability Support Program. The program is focused on not just skill enhancement but also ensuring suppliers advance their compliance standards and operational excellence. This strategic move aims to future-proof businesses, equipping them with knowledge and practices needed to thrive in a rapidly evolving industry landscape. 

Suncorp is helping with up to $1,000 per repair shop for training courses where there are no up-front costs for repair shops and no need to claim reimbursement. The detailed schedule of this training will be announced shortly.

The well-known benefits of training can help a business elevate the quality of service to customers along with staying abreast of latest industry trends, technologies and repair methods. Training also helps boost any team’s confidence and competence, with the reciprocal benefit that successful applicants can strengthen their position as a preferred repair shop in the Suncorp network.

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